At the age of 15, he was the youngest Indian chess player to be bestowed with the international master title. And the rest, as they say, is history. Ahead of his talk at a fashion event in Mumbai, Viswanathan Anand speaks to us about biopics, meeting chess legend Bobby Fischer, fashion and more.
With so many biopics being made, do you see one on you?
I can’t predict that. It can happen, who knows? And if it does, (actor) Aamir Khan can be a good choice to play my part. Since he plays chess quite well, he’ll make it look natural.
Have you watched Pawn Sacrifice, the biopic on Bobby Fischer that’s been in the news of late?
Yes, and I actually liked it. From a chessman’s viewpoint, it’s a historical film. Also, it takes some of the iconic moments of the sport to a wider audience. The match — the focus of the film — is a definitive moment in the game’s history. The film portrays Fischer very well.
Have you met Bobby Fischer?
Personally, I never thought I’d get the chance. But in 2006, I was in Iceland for a match. That’s when I got an opportunity to spend an evening with him... I was very lucky. Two years later, he passed away. I have fond memories of him.
Do you plan to write an autobiography at some point?
Funny, you ask that. Interestingly, I’m working on one! So, yes, the autobiography is in the works. Unfortunately, I cannot put a publishing date to it. We will just have to wait and watch.
The recently-concluded kabaddi league played a big part in making the sport appeal to the masses. Do you think something on similar lines can be done for chess?
Definitely. The kabaddi league has received an overwhelming response. The point is about presenting the sport to a wider audience. There’s an interesting tournament: Maharashtra Chess League. If the same can be replicated on a bigger or all-India scale, it will be a great initiative.
You’ll be speaking at the upcoming Blender’s Pride Fashion Tour. What does fashion mean to you?
I am a conservative dresser, I don’t go for flashy outfits. For me, comfort is very crucial. Fashion is all about getting in the right frame of mind and feeling good.